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Wilmington College Hosts District 17 Science Day

25 Projects Judged as 'Superior' and Qualify for State Competition

March 20, 2012

Blanchester High School seniors Jordan Long (left) and Hannah Freytag explain their team project to District 17 Science Day coordinator Dr. Russell Kincaid of Wilmington College. For their project,

Blanchester High School seniors Jordan Long (left) and Hannah Freytag explain their team project to District 17 Science Day coordinator Dr. Russell Kincaid of Wilmington College. For their project, "Levels of Ionizing Radiation in Clinton County," the students tested the safety of tanning beds in Clinton County with regard to levels of ionizing radiation. They determined the levels to be safe.

Eight-eight high school, middle school and elementary school students converged upon Wilmington College March 17 to present their projects at District 17 Science Day.

It was the eighth year the College hosted the event for students of Clinton, Fayette, Highland, and Brown counties that earned superior ratings at their local science fairs.

Dr. Russell Kincaid, associate professor of mathematics at WC, coordinated what he described as a “very successful” Science Day.

“Any time you have that many talented students present their projects, there are sure to be some that strike you in their originality and quality,” he said. “It does not matter what a person’s level of education may be, they will learn something new when they look through our project displays.

“I know. I learn something new every year.”

Kincaid noted that, while District 17 is among the state districts with the lowest population, it consistently has one of the highest rates of superior scores at the state competition.

“This year we have 25 projects which received superior ratings, and we hope that all the students involved with these projects get the opportunity to compete at the state competition in May,” he said. “The dedication of the teachers and parents, as well as the efforts of the students in performing the research, is commendable.”

The students presented research that covered a wide range of topics including agriculture, biotechnology, energy, environmental sciences, information science and technology, botany, and material science.

Students represented 11 schools within Ohio’s 17th District including Blanchester High School, Eastern Junior High School, Fairfield Local Middle School, Fayetteville-Perry Middle School, Georgetown Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High Schools, Hamersville Middle School, Lynchburg-Clay High School, Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Junior High School and Wilmington Middle School.

A student from Mother Teresa Catholic School participated as a guest of District 17, as he could not attend his district’s science fair.

(LEFT) Hamersville Middles School eighth graders, from the left, Megan Ogden, Ashley Prine and Caley King describe to Dr. Russell Kincaid their project on "Whate Oak Watershed: The Life of a Stream."

In Clinton County, Blanchester High School science teachers Georgette McClain and Andrea Harpen brought two individuals, Kyle McCarty and Alicia Fravel, as well as four teams to Wilmington College for the event: Evan Ostermeier and Kelly Penquite, Chris Hall and Aubrey Mallott, Hannah Freytag and Jordann Long, and Julie Hurst and Hannah Polly.

The team of Evan Ostermeier and Kelly Penquite qualified for the state competition.

Wilmington Middle School science teachers Jeff Bourne and Gary Downing brought 18 students including Dakota Beireis, Erin Stroebel, Nicholas Battrell, Janell Dean, Sawyer Kratzer, Tyler Hebb, Avery Greenless, Matthew Keiter, Bryant Bergefurd, Mai Cooper, Rebecca True, Luke Besser, Lillian Hebb, Mike Musolin, Jakb Blevins, William Hadley, Mason Noland and Megan Roush to the competition.

Dakota Beireis, Erin Stroebel, Nicholas Battrell, Janell Dean and Sawyer Kratzer qualified for the state competition.

Special awards of scholarships and cash prizes were presented in special categories. The Ohio Soybean Council awarded a cash prize to Jenna Griffith of Georgetown.

The Southwest Ohio Water Environment Association Committee awarded cash prizes to two individuals and one team judged to have the best environmental projects. Wesley Wolf of Georgetown received first place, while Andrew Day of Hamersville received second place, and the team of Caley King, Megan Ogden, and Ashley Prine from Hamersville received third place.

Wesley Wolf of Georgetown received a Governor’s Award for Environmental Studies Research and Janell Dean of Wilmington received a Governor’s Award for Agricultural and Food Research.

Support for the district science fair was provided by a number of businesses within the 17th District. These include Damon’s Bar and Grill, Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s Pizza, #1 China Buffet, Royal Z Lanes, Subway, Jen’s Deli, and Beaugard’s BBQ in Wilmington; Dakota’s Roadhouse, La Cascada, Ponderosa, Alley 21, and Pizza Hut in Hillsboro.

Wilmington College provided the facilities.

Kincaid lauded the work of the many WC community members that assisted, including Dr. Donald Troike, a professor of biology, who coordinated the judges, scoring and prize determination, and Melo-Dee Frederick, a support staff member in the sciences, provided logistical support and on-site coordination for the event.

“Numerous judges, including Wilmington College faculty, students, and members of the community, graciously gave of their time to make this event possible,” Kincaid said. “The time and efforts of all these individuals, as well as the students, teachers, and parents, made this event a success.”